Marketing analytics is the measurement & analysis of marketing activities. Typically served up through an online dashboard where marketers can retrieve and analyze their data.
If you are new to marketing analytics, these posts might be interesting:
- What is Marketing Analytics?
- How to improve marketing analytics?
- How do businesses succeed with marketing analytics skills
- Marketing analytics explained
- Is marketing analytics hard?
- What are the most important marketing analytics tools
- Guide to Marketing Metrics
If you are developing your analytics skills, some relevant posts are:
- How do I learn marketing analytics?
- Where can I learn marketing analytics
- Marketing analytics without a college degree
- How can we fast track marketing analytics skills
- How do i build a marketing analytics portfolio
Marketing analytics are a crucial tool in demonstrating ROI
Marketing analytics enables marketers to weigh what they got from their marketing efforts. This weight, is the return on investment. Without analytics, marketers would struggle to understand the cause and effect of their marketing programs. Which is why it is so important.
To be effective with marketing analytics means being open minded and continually finding new ways of gathering data, processing it and deriving meaning from it.
Marketing analytics enables marketers to:
- Understand performance
- Establish KPIs and run internal scorecards
- Benchmark performance
- Predict future performance
- Identify areas of improvement
- Work more effectively with partners
- Drive a more cohesive marketing strategy
- Prove the ROI of efforts
- Justify existing budgets
- Open up new budgets
- Explain to stakeholders what’s working
- For managing team performance
- Improve efficiency of their marketing (and advertising)
- Accountability and transparency
- Create effective marketing reports
- Inform data-driven strategy
- Upskill juniors on the team
All this equates to a smarter, more agile, marketing organization.
High performing organizations spend more on analytics
This study uncovered that top performers spend 5x more than their peers on Analytics & Measurement. It takes investment. Another trend from that study is that companies are adopting more analytics tools, to help get greater granularity.
A common refrain, especially amongst advertisers, is getting more of their dollars working. Which is where top performers stand out, they help their dollars get working more effectively through better data and insights. And with that lens, you can see why they are hard to beat.
Marketing analytics is all about performance, and performance is relative. Each organization is just trying to beat their competition. To grow their market share. But so, the more intelligence an organization has, it better positions them against their peers.
What does an effective marketing analytics process look like?
To get the most out of marketing analytics, many companies adopt a process like this.
1. Start with the business objectives and marketing strategy
Understanding what marketing is trying to achieve first and foremost.
2. Find the metrics which suit those objectives
Zooming in on the most suitable metrics to measure, helps the team focus on the right things.
These metrics can become your KPIs or part of your internal scorecard for success. If you are working with partners, make them part of the process to select these.
3. Implement the measurement
Implement the analytics across your marketing mix Complete QA, to see that it is tracking as intended.
To do this effectively, make sure you allow time for this. Rushing it, can lead to mistakes and unintended consequences. This is a continuous process, to keep the right metrics and measures.
4. Collect data
Each day, you can see how data is coming in, in your online dashboard.
Many platforms can send you custom reports. Or an analyst can prepare them for you.
5. Make adjustments
Depending on what is meaningful for your work, making adjustments each day, week, or month. It’s about striking a balance depending on how long your content is in market. For shorter campaigns you may want to adjust more regularly.
For longer term, making adjustments each month might make more sense.
6. Create reports
Creating reports helps uncover areas of opportunity and holds the team accountable. They are also vital in helping other stakeholders understand how content is driving performance.
This is an area, where the value can be overlooked. But the act of putting in a report, on a regular cadence, helps the team continuously improve. And keep performance in mind.
Once a quarter, doing a workshop to look at all the data, reports and work. Then analyzing it to find trends, wins, areas of improvement.
This helps to prove out ROI but to then also provides data, to predict how future content investments will perform.
A pro-tip is to change the team creating these reports over time. This helps spread the intelligence and knowledge amongst the team, gets fresh eyes on the data and helps keep everyone fresh.
Looking to the future of marketing analytics
There are a number of trends that analytics folks need to be mindful of.
- Artificial intelligence (AI), helping to collect, organize and get more insight from data. Analysts need to keep up to date on developments and new tools in this space.
- Digital transformation, this is driving more and more of the customer journey in digital channels. Increasing the broad remit of marketing analytics teams. And increasing the available data.
- Privacy changes, changes with GDPR, CCPA, ATT, first party cookies. All change the nature of the marketing environment. Analysts need to keep on top of these changes.
- The shift to events, more marketing analytics is becoming event driven, which is driving complexity. Analysts need to work to keep it simple and focused on what they are trying to achieve.
A suggested tip is for marketing teams to give analytics folks more time to experiment. To try new tools, to invest time in maintenance, QA’ing tools and set ups. Driving performance isn’t set and forget, it’s a continual process of improvement.
The sports analogy never gets old, but athletes are always training, getting their practice in. Getting coached. Taking on data & feedback, to find areas of performance. Trying new things. It can’t be forgotten that marketing is a performance driven function.